13 January is the deadline for the submission of evidence to the CPO Inquiry on the Westfield/Hammerson redevelopment of Whitgift and Centrale starting on 3 February.
Members of the public and organisations can submit evidence as non-statutory objectors – statutory ones being those with land interests. Paul Griffiths, the Inquiry Inspector, made this clear at the pre-inquiry meeting held on Tuesday 9 December to discuss the detailed arrangements.
The first two weeks of the Inquiry will be devoted to the Council’s evidence with 8 witnesses. There will then be a week’s break. Objectors will then have two weeks from 24 February.
The Inspector would like evidence to be presented under the four headings:
- Relationship to adopted planning framework for the area
- Well being
- Financial viability
- Achievement of purpose of CPO scheme by other means.
These are discussed in the 2004 Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Circular Compulsory Purchase and the Crichel Down Rules. 06 (2004), para. 16. Appendix A. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/7691/1918885.pdf
On the basis of the number of points they raised at the meeting the major objectors are going to be Minerva, the off-shore Whitgift One and Two Ltds, and a surveyor on behalf of 20 small retailers.
Given the mention on the Inquiry website on which all the documentation would be placed, I pointed out that a lot of people do not have web access or do not have printers capable of printing of the large amount of documentation that will be involved. I asked whether print copies would be provided in each Library. The Council’s lead legal representative said that it will only provide one at Bernard Weatherill House, and will not provide a set in each library. However its website states it will be providing a set at the Central Library as well. There will also be a set kept by the Inquiry’s Programme Officer.
Members of the public and local organisations who wish to give evidence can contact the Programme Office Joanna Vincent at 01403 217799, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Inquiry website is: http://persona.uk.com/Whitgift/index.htm
I have reserved an option to give evidence including possibly on behalf of Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly.
The Council is so far ensuring full coverage of the Inquiry on its website as recommended in Rule 11 (Public notice of inquiry) of the Department of Communities & Local Government circular The Compulsory Purchase (Inquiries Procedure) rules 2007, si 2007 no.3617), which states:
‘27. In addition to the fixing of notices about the inquiry and the publication of notices in local newspapers, the authorising authority and the acquiring authority may in addition also consider giving further publicity about the inquiry via their websites.’
The CPO page on the Council website is: http://www.croydon.gov.uk/planningandregeneration/regeneration/westfield-hammerson/cpo